• Nov 16, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

As much as we'd like to say that we didn't see this one coming... well, we did. But, despite the fact that it would seem to be the obvious choice to take home the Automobile Magazine Automobile of the Year award, the voting crew claims that it "wasn't a shoo-in."

In fact, claims Automobile, "the Chevrolet Volt endured more scrutiny and skepticism than any of the nine other semifinalists." We don't doubt it, either. There's no denying that the Volt has and will continue to receive more close scrutiny than just about any other vehicle that will be introduced this year or any other, and the voters are well aware of this fact. In other words, if the Volt wins a bunch of awards and turns into a major flop, the award-givers will have plenty of explaining to do....

Fortunately, it seems that the Chevy Volt is mostly worthy of the admiration it is receiving from the automotive press (the Volt was also named the 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year). Automobile Magazine calls the Volt a "game changer," and, with its innovative powertrain that should allow a large number of owners to drive almost completely without the use of gasoline, it's hard to argue with that assessment.

Click past the break for a video of Automobile's Editor-in-Chief, Jean Jennings, explain why the Chevy Volt is a worthy recipient of its Automobile of the Year award. When you're finished, feel free to click here for a massive 10-page missive on the same topic.



[Source: Automobile Magazine]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 45 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow...a 35 MPG, $40,000+ hybrid wins COTY? Looks like they've gone in reverse this year....
      • 4 Years Ago
      An obvious choice for the award. Really of this car as an American. A bankrupt company beat out all of the Japanese and German car makers in developing this breakthrough technology. Awesome. Oh and it won MT COTY as well! Was that posted already? :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Seriously, the only real gripes are that GM could only afford to affix such new tech to the cruze, resulting in a 40k essentially advanced hybrid cruze. Once we see it underpinning a CTS varient all that criticism will disappear (provided it's not 80k of course). GM fundamentally can't afford to eat it on every one sold as toyota did with the MkI so we'll just take what we reasonably can get. I just hope enough people in the A4/335i/C Class, etc 40k sedan range are eco nuts enough to buy this over those car so GM actually has a case to continue to let this tech permeate their lineup. And they need to, asap. Audi's first hybrid SUV can beat the tried and true dominante hybrid lexus out the gate you know the germans aren't going to rest on their laurels with tech similar to toyota for long (hell, the pre-production A1 hybrid is already essentially volt-tech with a superior engine to boot).
      Bob Browsky
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's see here. Our President receives the Nobel Peace Prize for not having done anything. Now our government ( read - we the tax payors) owns a major portion of GM (Government Motors). This car has yet to be released and it wins an award? Maybe GM should change the name of the car to the BO-Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Bob Browsky
        CAR blog
        AUTO blog

        Not POLITICS blog, you freaking ninny.

        I won't belabor you with how the auto bailouts and Volt program actually were rolling before Obama...you don't seem like the "fact" type.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You have to give GM's Detroit media relations team credit: Coordinating two major award announcements for their halo vehicle the day before the IPO is no small feat.

      Once the IPO is over and Detroit magazines have had their say, I would expect the hype to die down.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You have to give GM's Detroit media relations team credit: Coordinating two major award announcements for their halo vehicle the day before the IPO is no small feat.

      Once the IPO is over and Detroit magazines have had their say, I would expect the hype to die down.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This car is a huge technological achievement. More so than any other current hybrid or pure EV on the market.

      Good job to all the GM technical folks who worked on this project.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess GM threw some extra cash to Automobile. How can a car win automobile of the year when the mass market hasn't even gotten a shot at it yet? I'll laugh if it's laden with recalls.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Volt has won Car of the Year, Automobile of the Year, and it deserves to win many more awards.

      It is a true game-changer in the automotive world, and very, very few other cars out there can truly be called that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        High points in the history of the Motor Trend Car of the Year winners:
        1971 Chevrolet Vega, 1974 Ford Mustang II, 1975 Chevrolet Monza, 1976 Chrysler, Dodge Aspen, 1976 Chrysler, Dodge , 1978 Chrysler, Dodge Omni, 1980 Chevrolet Citation, 1981 Chrysler K-cars, 1983 Renault Alliance, 1990 Lincoln Town , 2010 Chevrolet Volt.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No offense, but this was predictable because no one wants to say it isn't COTY. It is one of those sure things. Everyone wants to be cool and so they will all just go along. While I have no plans to buy either I see the Leaf as more important. It is the first true production EV from an major manufacturer, it introduces a new driving dynamic with all its benefits and restrictions, and it does so at a reasonable price.

        Then again, neither will have wide availability for their first year. The new Fiesta or Cruze is more likely as important if not more, it is a trend towards higher content small cars. Getting America off of larger cars because they used to be the only route to high quality content.

        Grats anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Congratulations GM!

      I'm really excited to see what happens when this car hits the general market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kudos, indeed.

        It's nice to see good work rewarded.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Before people get too excited lets remember that these magazines are paid indirectly to pick specific cars. I don't want to take away from what the volt is, but it's pretty much a rigged show for all of the manufacturers.

        Remember, their advertisers pay for the magazine to exist. Which would explain why the "truck of the year" seems to rotate etc. Or that the volt got car of the year before anyone can buy one. When was the last time you saw a negative review (of any manufacturer)?

        Lets see what the sales numbers are like over the next 3 years and then see if it really deserves status. I don't mean this as a slight to the volt, I mean as a reality check for people who think it means anything.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Orion:

        Nice conspiracy theory, but there's nothing there to support it.

        Regarding why the truck of the year award tends to rotate? Simple, they only allow all-new or heavily redesigned vehicles as contenders in their awards and the major automakers don't renew their truck every year.

        Generally, when each of the Big 3(and Toyota) bring out an all-new truck, it's usually the only new one that year. Keep in mind that MT seperates the SUV of the year awards.

        For instance, last years winner, the Ram HD was up against only the Ford F-150 Raptor, Ford Transit Connect, and the Toyota Tundra Work Truck(being a new addition to the lineup I guess?). Compare that to this year's 21 contenders for the car of the year trophy. It wasn't up against the standard F-150 or the Silverado or the Titan(or any number of other trucks) since none of those were new last year. It really only seems to rotate bacuase there aren't as many options to choose from.

        2009 was a bit of a tougher one though because both the F-150 and Ram(not to be confused with the Ram HD) were new, along with the Hummer H3 and Suzuki Equator. The Ram put up a strong fight, but the F-150 won out. With weaker competition this year, the Ram HD was largely a shoo-in.

        They can't please everyone, but I feel that their system is about as fair as it can be. They give every contender an equal shot at winning and let the vehicles speak for themselves.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lol a car that hasnt even been released yet, tested by the public, and doesn't perform what it promised ( 230 mpg ).

        Yeahhh.....that's defintely CAR OF THE YEAR material!

      • 4 Years Ago
      Amazing!

      The Car isn't even for sale yet and it has won!

      The car isn't an electric car like we were told it would be. It isn't even an electric car with assist like we said it would be. What it is is a $41k hybrid with direct mechanical drive a portion of the time which will take over 15 years and over 200,000 miles of driving in the best operating scenarios to make it AS ECONOMICAL to run as a $15k Ford Fiesta and factoring in the difference of purchase price for fuel costs!

      The VaporVolt is pure mythology. Unlike the Nissan Leaf you cannot commute the average distance to and from work on one charge; the vehicle at best gets 35 mpgs when operating its gasoline engine and if you drive 70 mph or more, it is even less efficient to run than a Ford Fiesta or even a Chevrolet Snuze.

      This is car of the year bought and paid for by Chevrolet. This is not a significant vehicle because Government Motors gutted the promise and delivered far less than we were told.

      And just remember - you don't get $7500 off the sticker price! You still have to finance the $41k. Only on April 15th do you get the $7500 credit - one time. And you will be paying personal property taxes (where applicable) on the ENTIRE value of the car (not less $7500 each year!).

      VaporVolt. We promised so much and delivered so little. No one does this better than Government Motors.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So when people buy the Prius, they do it because they are smug hippies (and not because they want to be green and save money at the same time). When people buy the Volt, they know they won't save money, but it's a noble and patriotic cause because they're green and want to avoid foreign oil. Haha...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jrm125

        "So far as cost...people don't just do things to save money. I like the idea of fewer emissions and avoiding foreign oil. Anyone truly looking to save money doesn't buy a new car anyway."

        QFT (quoted for truth). I wish more people would get this. Arguing cost benefit until a hybrid, diesel, or electric car pay off is just as nostalgic and pointless as telling people americans dont buy hatchbacks or diesels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So when people buy the Prius, they do it because they are smug hippies (and not because they want to be green and save money at the same time). When people buy the Volt, they know they won't save money, but it's a noble and patriotic cause because they're green and want to avoid foreign oil. Haha...
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...then don't buy it. I'm sure your not purchasing it won't make the entire automotive infrastructure collapse. Those who want it? Buy it and then formulate your opinions. Those who do not want it? Buy a Leaf, buy a Prius, buy a Tahoe for all we care (...which we don't). Were you on the panel that chose the Car of the Year finalists? Probably not, or the Volt would not have won.

        As far as "Government Motors", as you put it, goes - GM has made so many mistakes in the past, it's almost a college history course. But then again, I'm quite sure you would not be at all happy if everyone threw every single mistake in your face when you're trying to make an effort to change. Remember than when your significant other brings up something you did.

        As far as your opinions of the publications that chose the Volt? Start your own publication and formulate your own opinions. Freedom of the press is a constitutional right in this country. No one's stopping you from doing so. But since freedom of expression is also a constitutional right, it may upset you to know that other people have opinions about the Volt, GM and other things as well.

        You are entitled to what you think, but unless you have something better to say about something that you have probably never driven, let's keep it intellectual and base judgments on the actual merits of the car. I have driven it in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago on the Volt tour. I was amazed that such a car has been built by ANYBODY, not just GM. So needless to say, it's not vaporware and i have the photos to prove it. And before you start dismissing me, I'd like you to know that I gave service to my country so that you'd have the freedom to bash someone unintelligently...
        • 4 Years Ago
        So when people buy the Prius, they do it because they are smug hippies (and not because they want to be green and save money at the same time). When people buy the Volt, they know they won't save money, but it's a noble and patriotic cause because they're green and want to avoid foreign oil. Haha...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just lease it for $350/mts
        • 4 Years Ago
        Funny how ever publication, test driver, blog, and ya know...person who actually know what they're talking about disagrees with you about the tech.

        So far as cost...people don't just do things to save money. I like the idea of fewer emissions and avoiding foreign oil. Anyone truly looking to save money doesn't buy a new car anyway.

        So much hate, so little substance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        With you on this one laser.

        Oooohh! So angry!

        Government Motors vapor snuze mythology tax!

        Oooohh! Anger anger anger!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, so much misinformation and anger.

        For example, the Volt is getting 40-odd miles of EV range in the real world. Read ABmag's article, and they say as much. And in the real world, 40 miles is indeed enough to cover the bulk of daily commuters. Even in LA.

        And the "Vapor" bit? You are aware that actual Volt production is underway, right? That it's an all new 2011 model, right? That people have been driving actual production vehicles, right? That's vapor?
      • 4 Years Ago

      Come on guys - # 1 ? is that before or after the $7500 subsidy that we contribute -
      So GM shopped for one hell of a yearly rate and bingo - - # 1 car -smells like it anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks good in red, but the grey bottom panels should have been color matched.. Looks cheap like this.
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